Gambar halaman

N. H.

with great ingenuity and with superior mechanical and scientific talents. He possessed large estates on both sides of the Connecticut River, at Fairlee, Vt., and at Orford,

He spent a part of his life on his estates at Orford and a part in Fairlee, and was living at the latter place at the time of his death.

He was engaged very extensively in lumbering, and gave evidence of his engineering skill by building a chute on the mountain-side in which to slide the pine logs from inaccessible steeps to Fairlee Pond. This was some years before Napoleon procured lumber from the Alps in the same manner.

When an attempt was made to open the Connecticut to navigation, it was Morey who planned and built the locks at Bellows Falls.

Recognized as he was as a man of genius in those parts, perhaps it did not occasion any great surprise when, about the year 1791, the marvelous sight of a steamboat was seen making its way up the Connecticut River between Fairlee and Orford. It was a small craft, just large enough to contain Samuel Morey (the inventor), the machinery by which the boat was propelled, and a handful of wood.

Morey once exhibited a similar boat in New York to Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, Robert Fulton, and others. A few years later Robert Fulton launched the steamer Clermont on the IIudson River ; and to him was given the name of being the inventor of the first successful steam boat. However, there seems to be good and sufficient authority for believing that this honor should have been awarded to Samuel Morey.



Vermont Settled.—By the end of this period Vermont was practically settled, there being inhabitants in at least three-fourths of her towns. The dangers and privations of pioneer life were in the main at an end; and these were indeed times of peace and plenty for those people whose simple manner of living demanded so little for their comfort. Grist and saw mills were in operation all through the State, wherever the wild streams could be tamed for the turning of millstones. Where only the primeval forests with their giant trees had once been seen, fields and gardens teemed with a new life, that of grains, vegetables, and fruit-trees, the last-named perhaps quickened to growth by the fact that every acre of forty growing fruittrees was exempt from taxation.

Bad Habits.-From the fruit of the apple-orchards great quantities of cider and cider-brandy were made. The cel. lar of every farmer who owned an apple-orchard had a generons store of these beverages, and oftentimes of New Eng. land rum as well. Whisky, gin, and other liquors were also manufactured in large quantities.

In those days everybody drank. It was considered no disgrace to wash down the Johnny-cake and plain doughnuts with these drinks, and one of them formed a part of the daily meal. “A pint of rum to a pound of pork” was the rule for workmen. It was customary to carry liquor into the field wherever men were at work in both the forenoon and afternoon. One man had it announced from the pulpit one Sunday morning that the raising of his barn would not take place at the appointed time as his barrel of rum had not arrived.

Drunkenness was a disgrace then as now; but a man was never accused of being drunk so long as he could stand on his feet; but when he failed to do this, he was open to the charge of intoxication and liable to suffer the consequences of his error.

Men, and oftentimes women, smoked and took snuff. To be sure, the pipes were frequently home-made, the bowls of freestone or cob with elder stems, and a mixture of mul. lein leaves and mint was commonly used instead of tobacco.

Taverns.— Taverns were placed at frequent intervals along the main roads, and plenty, was always to be found there for the thirsty. The oldtime landlord received his guests with genuine hospitality, for of them he received all the latest news; and he was an inquisitive man in those days, when newspapers were scarce and liable to be a week or two old on arrival. As the traveler told yarns, the landlord made frequent trips to the fireplace, where the everready flip-iron lay among the glowing embers. Even good old Governor Chittenden was an innkeeper and bartender as well, and no doubt as inquisitive as any of them.

Sheep-Raising.--Wool-growing was profitable, and almost every farmer had his flock of sheep. Judge Paine, of Northfield, is reported to have kept from fourteen to fifteen hundred sheep. He was also a pioneer in the manufacture of American cloths and built a factory in Northfield for the making of broadcloth, at a cost of $40,000, employing about two hundred workmen. The wool from his sheep he manufactured into cloth, receiving thereby no small yearly revenue.

Shearing-time was one of the great festivals of the year. There were no social distinctions in those days; and the shearers, who were oftener than otherwise neighbors of the hirer, were his equals, and were sure of the best entertainment that the house afforded.

[graphic][merged small]

Merinos.— About the year 1809, William Jarvis, our consul at Lisbon, brought about four thousand merinos to this country from Spain. These were confiscated from the flocks of the Spanish nobles. Flocks of pure blood, bred on the Jarvis estate at Weathersfield “Bow" on the west bank of the Connecticut River, could not be excelled by any in this country. From this time on there was marked improvement in the fineness and weight of Vermont wool, and the Vermont merinos soon gained for themselves a world-wide reputation.

Morgan Horses.—Not less famous were the Morgan horses, a distinctive breed of horses which originated in Vermont. They were spirited animals, and noted for being excellent roadsters.

Manufacturing.—Before the end of this period the people had begun to realize to some extent their resources, and also to make use of them. In several places there were manufactories for pottery; axes, scythes, and nails were also made. Iron ore, found in the western part of the State and in the vicinity of Crown Point, was for a time quite extensively manufactured, but it did not prove profitable on account of the poor quality of the ore, and was given up after a few years' trial.

There were mills for the manufacture of flaxseed oil; and marble had begun to be worked on quite an extensive scale in Middlebury, where a mill for sawing marble was built in 1806. Marble was discovered and worked in Manchester nearly as early. There were also a number of fulling and carding mills.

It was not, however, a period of manufacturing interests; and such articles as were manufactured were generally manufactured at home and for home use, as in the earlier days. Nevertheless a beginning had been made.

Commerce.—During this period the incoming population afforded a ready market for much of the surplus products of the farms; but there was still an overflow (or, as Graham expresses it, a superfluity) that must find a market elsewhere. The chief articles of export were pot and pearl ashes and lumber. Graham says, “I have known 6,000 barrels of potash to be sent out of the State in one season since the war." Maple-sugar and butter were also made in greater quantities than were needed for the home supply. Williams reports that in 1791 two-thirds of the families

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »